3000 Daughters of Ocean

“And Tethys bore to Ocean eddying rivers”

who carried themselves to the edge of the cosmos
and off it.

Further journeys of plummet and endless universe
were tempting, but instead they sailed back up
the starving narrows —

Three thousand daughters of ocean
you never step into the same river twice
before she ejects you

you never drink twice from the same source twice
before the poison comes

and three thousand daughters of ocean are coming
reclaiming the streets for water
& putting up walls of cypress roots.

They blacken windows with squid ink,
shouting their names fluid, loud, and fluent.

Slippery fish oil sloshes from their valves
to ruin the roads

and three thousand daughters of ocean
drip from your well, aqueduct, hose.

Nilus and Ister,
run through the sand,
Strymon, Meander
across the olive groves.

3000 white pillars crushed
under the weight of water.

You can dam a river,
but you can’t stop it twice.

[Amelia Gorman is a baker and computer science student living in Minnesota. Her poetry has appeared in Nonbinary Review, Eye to the Telescope, and The Literary Hatchet.]